Mice Steer Clear of Toxoplasma-infected Rats

The urine scent of rats infected with Toxoplasma gondii—a protozoan parasite that infects wild and domestic animals and birds—drives away mice, their prey, shows a new study by researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Common Brown Rat Photo credit: bobchin1941 via photopin cc

Common Brown Rat
Photo credit: bobchin1941 via photopin cc

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Only a Fraction of Cauliflower Coral Larvae May Tolerate Ocean Conditions in 2100

Coral reefs are undoubtedly the treasures of our oceans. Every month during the new moon, cauliflower corals found thriving in the shallow waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans, release larvae that migrate through currents and swim to faraway locations for settlement. Swimming requires large amounts of energy reflected in high metabolic rates among larvae. But few survive this journey fraught with danger; they are at risk of predation and vulnerable to dynamic ocean environments. Adding to their woes, climate change may render our oceans warmer and more acidic by the of the century. How will cauliflower coral larvae respond to these environmental changes? A study suggests that only a fraction may possess the ability to adapt and persist.

Pocillopora sp. Photo credit: wildsingapore via photopin cc

Pocillopora sp.
Photo credit: wildsingapore via photopin cc

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